Sunday, April 14, 2013

When time is love...... 百年之约

Solvil et Titus

The story of Solvil et Titus

Solvil et Titus is a formerly Swiss, now Hong-Kong-based, watch company, founded in 1887 in La Chaux-de-Fonds ( the historic birth place of watchmaking industry.), Neuchâtel, Switzerland by Paul Ditisheim (1868-1945). Paul Ditisheim won numerous chronometer performance competitions with innovations of his own design, including the 1903 Kew Observatory Contest. In 1930, Paul Bernard Vogel acquired the Solvil et Titus brands from Paul Ditisheim and moved the company's headquarters to Geneva. 

After the Second World War, Vogel decided to divided its brands into two. While kept producing the luxury watches it was famous for, Solvil et Titus started producing lower-cost watches that satisfied the emerging mass consumption markets. In the 1970's, Solvil et Titus decided to expand its sell overseas and focus mainly in the Asian market. In the late 70's, Paul Vogel who has inherited the company from his late father decided to sell off Solvil et Titus brands. The European activities became part of Ebel while the Asian activities were sold to Hong Kong entrepreneur Joseph Wong and are now part of Stelux Holdings.

I bought this watch brand new from a local watch shop. My father-in-law has the same watch. It was awarded to him by his company director. He is wearing it 365 days a year. This particular was retailing for RM 480 in 2009. 
I think this watch is from late 1980's to early 1990's. So it must have sitting in that shop for at least 15 years and above... sitting quietly, waiting for the right love... Why I am using the love theme for Solvil et Titus? The brand has so successfully utilise the theme of antiquity, love and romance in marketing itself. 

This Solvil et Titus has the classical look of Rolex President (Day-Date). It is a two tones watch made of stainless steel and 18ct gold plated. This watch comes with mineral crystal, which can be easily replaced with sapphire glass. The gold plated crown has very fine Titus logo and has the function of screw down. The gold coloured dial only has its logo and the brand name with the word Automatic. At the 6 o'clock position of the dial it was written "Swiss Mvt". 

This watch used genuine Swiss ETA movement of 2834-2. This is the undecorated and unadjusted 17 jewels variant with frequency of 21,600 bph. At the rotor, it is signed with Solvil et Titus. 

The stainless steel back case is decorated with the Titus logo at the back. The back case is screw down and are quite well polished. The President style bracelet is all solid link stainless steel. The anterior surface of the bracelet's middle links is gold plated. The posterior surface is just plain stainless steel. There is a Titus logo at the clasp.

This watch sits on the wrist quite nicely and it is very comfortable for daily use. It is very elegance in design and yet at a fraction of the cost of luxurious entity. Older Solvil et Titus watches are money back guarantee artifacts merely because of the high quality Swiss movement. With proper cares, this watch may last a 100th years just as the brand's advertisement stretched on. Recent one is also quite stunning in term of design and appearance.... but I doubt I will pay that amount of money for Chinese or Asian movements.